by Paul Sellars
As part of a broader approach to invasive species throughout the state the Victorian Government is seeking public comment on the way it manages marine and freshwater pests.
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Biosecurity Victoria Executive Director Hugh Millar said the Government was looking for input from the public on this important issue to help ensure marine and freshwater pests were managed as effectively and appropriately as possible.
'Marine and freshwater pest infestations present a risk to biodiversity as well as to our commercial fisheries,' Dr Millar said.
'Preventing new pests from establishing themselves in our marine and inland waters is a priority and we want to take into account the views of the people who live and work on or near these waterways as we develop our strategies.'
One such pest is the five-armed invasive Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), which was recently discovered at Tidal River in the Wilsons Promontory National Park for the first time.
Kylie White, Executive Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at the Department of Sustainability and Environment, encouraged the public to report sightings of the seastar in all locations outside of Port Phillip Bay and Tidal River.
Reports of any other suspected pests in Victorian waters are also encouraged.
'We all need to do our bit to stop the spread of these pests, from bay and river users being vigilant to boat users carefully cleaning their vessels,' Ms White said.
The Government is developing new policies to clarify current arrangements and identify current and potential future management actions, while setting out clear roles and responsibilities.
Comments are invited on two areas in the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework – invasive marine pests and invasive freshwater fish and freshwater invertebrates.
The closing date for comments is Monday, July 16, 2012.
For more information and for details on how to submit comments click here
VIC DPI website.